ROTA, Spain
Naval Station Rota
6th Fleet
Replenishment Ship
A yearly Port for
USS Neosho AO-143,
USS Mississinewa AO-144,
USS Truckee AO-147
  Through Out their life

Going past Gibraltar
Past Gibraltar, into Med

Rota Naval Base was developed in the early 1950s located across the bay from Cadiz, Spain.  The installation covers more than 6,000, an area recognized for its strategic, maritime importance over the centuries. The base is used jointly by Spain and the United States. It remains under the Spanish flag and is commanded by a Spanish Vice Admiral. While the Spanish Navy is responsible for external security of the base, both Navies are charged with internal security.


The Commander, U.S. Naval Activities, Spain is headquartered at Rota and is the area coordinator for all U.S. Naval shore activities in Spain. The Port of Rota is located about 55 nmi northwest of the Strait of Gibraltar. The Port of Rota is a large deep harbor that can accommodate deep draft vessels even at mean low water. Carriers could be berthed at Pier 1 but movement would be restricted to times near high tide, current SOP is for carriers to anchor out. The harbor is well protected from wave action from the west, south and east by breakwaters and by the shore to the north. However, there is little protection from the wind, especially from the south and west.

The harbor entrance is over 300 yards wide and opens to the south. Approach to the Bay of Cadiz is best from the west and southwest, turning on the harbor range approximately .2 nmi from the breakwater. Minimum depths near turning point are about 46 ft and decrease to about 36 ft at entrance. There is no specified channel approaching the harbor entrance. The harbor can house numerous ships and provides ample turning space in the center harbor basin. All vessels except small vessels must have tug assistance when berthing. The limited number of USN tugs restricts berthing action to one ship at a time. Pilotage is compulsory, pilots board just outside the west breakwater. A large anchorage area with designated anchorages is located in a general southeastward direction from the breakwater. Distance to anchorages varies between 2000 and 7000 yards. A smaller anchorage area is located to the south and southwest of the light at distances of 500 to 730 yards.

Sub tender photo is from DD-692 Page

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